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China’s Greenland Plans 1,000 Melbourne Apartments, Sydney Hotel

Greenland Holding Group Co., the builder of one of China’s tallest towers, plans to construct 1,000 apartments on a Melbourne site and expects to open a five-star, 180-room hotel in Sydney by 2015.

The state-owned developer is seeking to finalize the purchase of the land from the Victoria Racing Club by the end of 2013, Sherwood Luo, managing director of Greenland Australia, its Sydney-based subsidiary, said. It will also convert one of the two buildings it agreed to buy in Sydney’s center in March into a boutique five-star hotel, he said.

Greenland, which entered Australia this year to capitalize on rising home prices and growing demand from Chinese buyers, plans to turn the other building on the site into Sydney’s tallest residential tower. The push into Melbourne, following a 7 percent increase in apartment prices in the nation’s biggest cities this year, is part of Greenland’s plan to invest more than A$1 billion ($934 million) in Australia in two years.

The Sydney tower “will attract both local and mainland buyers, because it’s the best location in town, it’s close to public transport and it’s an iconic building,” Luo said in an interview in Sydney on Nov. 15. “Australia is a great destination for investment and we’re looking for other sites.”

The company expects to begin sales at the Sydney tower this month, and sell about half of them within a month, Chairman Zhang Yuliang told reporters in Shanghai in October. It will market the 500-plus units -- which start at A$528,000 for a studio apartment and could climb to “a few million” for the penthouses -- in Sydney, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore, Luo said.

A date for the start of construction depends on development approval, which it is in the process of obtaining, he said.

Melbourne Development

In Melbourne, Greenland entered into talks with the Victoria Racing Club last month on two parcels of land next to the Flemington Racecourse, home of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. The company will build a tower that includes some retail, Luo said.

Greenland joins Chinese developers, including Dalian Wanda Group and ABP (China) Holdings Group Ltd., which are moving overseas as the government steps up a three-year campaign to cool the housing market. The company last month reached an agreement with Forest City Ratner Cos. to co-develop the Atlantic Yards project in New York, following an announcement in July that it’s investing $1 billion in a Los Angeles project.

Greenland is seeking projects including hotels, apartments and retail in London, Zhang said last month.

The company said in 2010 that it will invest 30 billion yuan ($4.9 billion) to build a 606-meter (1,988-foot) skyscraper in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

The 660-meter Ping An Finance Center in the southern city of Shenzhen will be China’s tallest building when it is completed 2016, according to the skyscraper center database of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. China’s tallest building currently is the 492-meter Shanghai World Financial Center.

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